What does it say about my addiction to running that on the drive home from completing Taunton marathon I was already thinking about my next race and the training I need to do? Although doing a road marathon was one of my goals this year the year has always been about building towards the Race to the Stones in July. Doing a structured marathon training plan was the perfect way to kick off the year and establish some base fitness.
It did scare me a little how knackered I was at the end of the marathon and knowing that the Race to the Stones is almost 2.5 times as long. Clearly I’ll run at a different intensity but even so 100km is a bloody long way. For now I’m going with the pretend it’s ok and ignore reality approach, much easier than coming to terms with actually running that far. However I did think about this progression when planning this year which is why I wanted to get an ultra scheduled between Taunton and the Race to the Stones.
On May 10th I’m doing the Ridgeway 40 which actually is organised as a long distance walk, but some people run it (Paul Ali is one and you can read his thoughts here). You in essence get the same support as on a run with check points etc you just don’t get a timing chip as it’s not technically a race. It’s pretty perfect as race practise for the Race to the Stones; it’s also along the Ridgeway albeit in the opposite direction and it’s a good step in terms of distance. Plus the added bonus of being on £10 to enter which has to be a bargain. Certainly a lot better than the £50-60 that most other ultra’s I looked at were charging.
Now I have 4 weeks to take my marathon fitness and translate it to an ultra, perhaps a little tight on time but we’ll see how it goes. Worst case I can walk a chunk of it, but even with that I can test out nutrition and gear. All I plan to do over the next 4 weeks is my regular running in the week and then 2 long runs at the weekend with hopefully a marathon length run thrown in there somewhere.
If anyone has any top advice on kit please do send it this way, I have my pack and shoes sorted but that’s about it. Wondering if sunglasses and/or a hat are going to be useful additions to the kit if the weather is good? Think I’m also going to make sure I have a good few podcasts on my phone to listen to and help the miles pass. Beyond that I know I’m not going to use gels as it’s clear they don’t work for me so need to plan something else that’s easy to carry or rely on the check points.